ART (At the Four Seasons)
99 Union St, Seattle 206-749-7000
I discovered the Pisco Sour at ART, and I haven't stopped thinking about it since. You can see the bitters being very precisely inserted and swirled atop egg whites by the expert mixologist. I was in good hands.
Here I am enjoying the snacks as I contemplated the next round being mixologized.
ART has nice snacks. Nice presentation of snacks too. Very important.
here if you're inspired. I may not have been hungry enough, or maybe I just can't seem to enjoy breaded food as much as I once did, but this dish didn't do a whole lot for me. Interestingly, I couldn't detect a difference between the duck egg and standard fried free range chicken eggs. Perhaps my palate is not well trained in the various egg categories yet.
So, then, back to the egg whites in my cocktails...
1312 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101 (206) 652-0521
Vessel is an urban, sophisticated bar. Patrons looked like professionals and for the most part, it was a thirty to early fifty something crowd. It isn't a warm fuzzy overstuffed couch kind of place, but rather a glass and iron, cool, dim, and trendy kind of place. In celebration of their third birthday, Vessel invited a line up of local celebrity mixologists who designed a special cocktail menu.
The Agricole Sour (below) was featured on this special menu. Instead of being distilled from molasses, agricole rhum is distilled from fresh sugar cane juice. This recipe consisted of Neisson Agricole Blanc, dark falernum, egg white, lemon juce, lime juice, and bitters.
At Vessel, the cocktail menu is sometimes perplexing, but always interesting. I had to ask the server (who was extraordinarily patient and willing to explain every detail of every drink to me) all about falernum and agricole.
Since we are focusing now on the egg white category, I'm also going to point out the Marmalade Sour - currently on the regular Vessel cocktail menu, and also made with egg whites. You can check out images and the recipe on superstar mixologist, Jamie Boudreau's Spirits and Cocktails blog here.
On to the next egg white cocktails at....
1406 12th Ave
Seattle (206) 322-9734
Tavern Law is a bit gimmicky with its "secret" upstairs - a second hidden bar inspired by the prohibition era speakeasy. Luckily, the drink and food menu compensate for the borderline cheesy theme. The cocktail menu is made up of a litany of classic period drinks from classic restaurants and bars. The revival of the speakeasy aesthetic and mood is a current trend in urban bars (from martinis served in tea cups or ceramic mugs, secret doors and sign-less entrances, to "old" wood and brick interiors). The New York Times even mentions Tavern Law in its recent piece on prohibition drinking and the recent re-birth of the faux speakeasy. In anycase Tavern Law is interesting and offers some unusual cocktails and a knowledgeable and committed staff.
Below is Vessel's rendition of the Clover Club cocktail, first served at the famed New York Waldorf Astoria hotel in 1935. The Clover Club consists of gin, lemon, raspberry syrup and egg whites.
The service here goes above and beyond. It is outstanding. My uber picky self was bothered by the little shards of ice floating about in my Clover Club cocktail. They were destoying the smooth egg whites and distracting me from the flavor of my drink. But, before I could get too worked up about it, the bartender (this title seems more appropriate at a speakeasy) passed by and asked if everything was OK, and I mentioned that I wasn't enjoying the drink and why, and he immediately brought his straining equipment to the table and took care of business, straining each drink with great care. Then he sat and explained all about egg whites and drinks and the menu and and and...! For the next round, I asked for a pisco sour (since I was still dreaming of ART), and this lovely man enthusiastically brought me the house Pisco brandy at Tavern Law.
And here is the lovely bartender/mixologist (what did they call bartenders at a speakeasy?), posing with the chalk board menu behind him. That truffle risotto is pretty good. The beet salad with candied cashews was amazing and much more interesting that the far too common beet salad with goat cheese on every menu these days. The foie gras with angostura jelly was nice too.
I look forward to returning to sample more cocktails at Tavern Law, ART and Vessel...and I especially look forward to another stunning Pisco Sour at ART.